Theresa Heath

Vice Chancellor Independent Research Fellow

Dr Theresa Heath is a post-doctoral researcher and film and creative industries scholar specialising in queer and feminist film festivals and cinemas; festivals, events and urban space; disabled access in the CCIs, and disability cinema and activism.

Theresa is currently writing a book titled Queer Film Festivals: Reclaiming the City for publication with Routledge in 2024. She is also in the preliminary stages of a new, collaborative project exploring disabled access at media festivals and events. Theresa formerly ran a queer community film festival focused on social, economic and disabled access and has advised film festivals as a disabled access consultant.

Academic background

Theresa has a PhD in Film Studies from King’s College London where she researched the relationship between queer film festivals and urban space in the context of increasingly neoliberal approaches to art and culture. She holds an MA in English Literature 1850-Present, also from King’s, where she researched queer women’s writing on the city. Theresa has published articles and chapters on queer and women’s film festivals; festivals, events and neoliberalism; representations of chronically ill women in cinema; queer cinephilia; and festival audiences and spectatorship during COVID. She has also taught and convened modules across a range of subjects in both film and creative industries departments on topics such as experimental filmmaking, accessible curation, marginalised cinemas, film noir, media audiences and networks, media production cultures, and queer, trans, feminist and disability cinemas. 

Current research and collaborations

Theresa is currently working on a book based on her doctoral research titled Queer Film Festivals: Reclaiming the City for publication with Routledge in 2024. Bringing together methodologies and research from both humanities and social sciences, the book argues that queer film festivals reclaim and reimagine urban space for the most marginalised in the LGBTQIA community. She is also  working on a number of articles for academic journals exploring labour, welfare and working practices in the Scottish film festival ecosystem; disabled access strategies at queer film festivals, and representations of care and the erotic in queer and feminist cinema. At present, Theresa is working on a funding application for a 2- year collaborative project exploring models of disabled access at media festivals and events.

Completed PhD / research supervisions

Theresa has supervised a number of Master’s dissertations in global media industries, arts and cultural management, and creative industries.

Interests and activities

Theresa’s research interests include marginalised cinemas, communities and festivals; media festivals; social justice activism; gender, sexuality and cinema; queer, feminist and critical disability studies; accessibility studies and the creative industries.